Nothing to do with James Bond, The Moonraker takes 5043 on a market day trip to the walled Wiltshire cathedral city of Salisbury. A Moonraker being the colloquial term for people (and maybe locomotives too?) born and bred in the county of Wiltshire. Once boasting adjacent stations from both the GWR and the London and South Western Railway (LSWR), Salisbury now sits at the interchange between the South West Main Line from London Waterloo to Exeter and the cross country route between Bath/Bristol and Southampton/Eastleigh. Our train starts from Solihull and picks up at Dorridge, Warwick Parkway and Banbury before passing through Oxford towards our required pathing stop at Didcot Parkway as we await our slot through Reading West. We will be in Didcot station for nearly 1 hour, so we will arrange for you to do able to do a quick ‘shed bash’ of the Didcot Railway Centre. If this isn’t your cup of tea, there will be an opportunity to visit and photograph our loco, or simply sit on the train and enjoy our warm hospitality.
We departure Didcot for a canter along the rails ‘oh-so-familiar’ to our Great Western Castle locomotive. We continue around the new curve to Reading West and Basingstoke for a high speed gallop along the old LSWR main line and our entrance to the city through the curving Fisherton Tunnel.
Upon arrival at Salisbury there will be ample time to explore this historic city, whether it be a visit to the impressive cathedral with its 400 ft spire, a browse through the Saturday market, hitting the many varied shops and pubs, dropping into the Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum or maybe even catching the direct bus link to the nearby pre-historic ancient monument that is Stonehenge.
Steam Hauled throughout by No. 5043 “Earl of Mount Edgcumbe”.
|Saturday 8th April 2017 – ‘Moonraker’ with 5043 ‘Earl of Mount Edgcumbe’|
|Didcot Parkway (for Didcot Railway Centre)||09:30 to 10:30||pass|